Saturday, January 16, 2010

Brisket Chimichanga

After smoking that gargantuan beef brisket at Christmas, we packaged the leftovers in vacuum seal bags and froze some for later use. Later is today.

This is one of my favorite uses for leftover brisket but also works for pulled pork and chicken.

Brisket Chimichanga

2 -3 slices smoked beef brisket
2 ea flour tortilla, burrito size
1/2 cup shredded cheese
6 TB ranch dressing
2 TB salsa
2 TB butter
1/2 cup long grain rice
1/4 ea red onion, diced
1 ea tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup water
1 TB tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon sugar

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Saute onion for 5 minutes. Add rice and continue sauteing for another 2-3 minutes. You know it's ready when the rice begins to turn golden and releases an aromatic nutty smell.

Add the water, tomato paste (I normally whisk the paste and water together before adding), tomatoes, oregano, and sugar. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to as low as possible yet still remain at a simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Avoid opening or stirring. After the 20 minutes, remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork, replace cover and let cool covered.

Mix the ranch dressing and salsa together to make a "mexi-ranch sauce".

Reheat your brisket slices. I prefer to do this by brushing them with maybe a tablespoon of beef stock, wrapping the slices in foil and placing them in foil in the oven while I'm preheating a deep cast iron skillet. Take the slices out as soon as they are warm to the touch and chop them up.

Put about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the rice mixture on a tortilla. Top with half of the meat, cheese and a tablespoon or so of the mexi-ranch sauce.

Wrap the burrito closed. Here's how I roll my burritos for deep frying. I'm not an expert by any means but this works for me and I haven't had one fall apart during cooking yet.

To roll a burrito well, you want to start with a tortilla that's like a great kiss, soft and warm. A cold, dry tortilla will break instead of folding. Warm it for a few seconds (9 for me) in a microwave between two moist paper towels. Place your filling in a line to the side. Mix a "food glue" with equal parts flour and cold water. Looking at the tortilla like a clock, brush a bit of the glue from about 11 o'clock clockwise to about 7 o'clock.

Fold the short side of the tortilla over the mixture.

Fold the top and bottom of the tortilla in as shown. It will kind of resemble an envelope here.

Now roll up the mixture filled side over the empty side like this.

You should now have a burrito with neatly tucked ends, ready to be turned into a chimichanga.

Remove the preheated skillet from then oven and on the stove top, add vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Test for readiness by dropping a small torn piece of tortilla. If it bubbles and sizzles, it's ready for cooking.

Carefully place the burritos seam side down into the oil and let cook until they are golden brown (about 2 minutes). Flip and cook the other side until golden brown (usually less time, like 1:45 seconds).

Remove to a raised rack or a plate with paper towels to drain for a few minutes. Slice on a bias and serve with extra rice and mexi-ranch sauce or a salsa verde for dipping.

Summer: Anyway, I think I'd be a great class president. So, who wants to eat chimichangas next year? Not me. See, with me it will be summer all year long. Vote for Summer.

Bite me Summer, I'm voting for Pedro.

Versus: Burrito or Chimichanga?